How are you celebrating Independence Day?
I’ve been reading the biography of John Adams. Learned a lot and have been very encouraged. For instance, John Adams said that Independency happened in the hearts of Americans before it was one on the battlefield.
The Stamp Act was repugnant because no citizen should be taxed without consenting to it. Americans drank herb tea when the imported tea became a point of contention with England. Adams defended the English soldiers of the Boston Massacre, claiming that the policy of quartering soldiers in an urban center was bound to create more disturbances than it solved.
Most of all the Writs of Assistance Act roused colonists to the cause of Independence; Writs of assistance were search warrants that permitted customs (tax) officials to enter and search anywhere anytime they wished. James Otis has argued successfully before the bench that these Writs of Assistance were null and void because they violated the natural rights of Englishmen. Adams was a very young attorney, in the courtroom as an observer only, and said that this day was one of the most inspiring of his life.
What will inspire your students in the cause of civic duty? I encourage you to read some good history. This will inspire your teaching.
Then how will you apply it? Perhaps you could put on a play with your children, invite them into the courtroom, the streets of Boston, or the State House in Philadelphia where the founders met, deliberated, and voted on the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution.
Please let us know your good ideas for celebrating Independence Day in your classroom.
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